After stepping back from her senior role within Britain's royal family earlier this year, the Duchess of Sussex fully intends to employ her right to vote as an American citizen after she was likely not able to do so. In fact, Meghan Markle shared why exactly she's voting in the 2020 election in a new interview with Marie Claire.
"I know what it's like to have a voice, and also what it's like to feel voiceless," Markle told Marie Claire. "I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard."
When she was a full-time working royal after marrying Prince Harry in May 2018, it's been reported that the former Suits actress and proud feminist probably didn't vote in the 2018 midterm elections due to the royal family's neutral stance on political mattes and protocol on the matter, according to Town & Country. The royal family's website states that the queen "has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters" and "by convention," she "does not vote or stand for election."
What's more, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Newsweek in 2018 that members of the royal family who are "close to the queen" typically don't vote, although as a U.S. citizen Markle technically had the ability to. It's still not known if Markle voted in 2018; at the time, Kensington Palace simply told People "no comment" when asked if she did.
Whatever the case may have been then, it's evident that now she's stepped back from her royal life and is living in Los Angeles, being able to publicly express her political beliefs and fully exercise her right to vote is important. Back in 2016, in fact, Markle wrote in a blog post on her defunct lifestyle site The Tig that "the right to vote is something for which blood, sweat, and tears have been shed," according to Harper's Bazaar.
More recently, the Duchess of Sussex spoke at the United Nation's Girl Up, Woman In Leadership Summit and encouraged women advocating for change to "keep challenging, keep pushing" to "create the conditions to re-imagine our standards, our policies, and our leadership." She also shared that her 1-year-old son will be "cheering on" women as they do. "I will be cheering you on," Markle said in July, "so will my husband, so will Archie, as you all continue marching, advocating, and leading the way forward."
As the November elections get closer, Markle shared a powerful quote that she looks to in her most recent interview with Marie Claire. "One of my favorite quotes, and one that my husband and I have referred to often, is from Kate Sheppard, a leader in the suffragist movement in New Zealand, who said, 'Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops,'" Markle told the magazine. "That is why I vote."